Kathleen Foster

Creatively Speaking
1:17 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Diana Glows Again at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907) sculpted Diana, who sat on top of Madison Square Garden in NYC before being relocated to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This photograph is from 1925.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s statue of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt, was created by the renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1893, for the top of Madison Square Garden - which was then on New York City's East Side. As WRTI’s Susan Lewis reports, a recent re-gilding recalls its past, but also suits its contemporary home. 

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Creatively Speaking
5:48 am
Mon January 14, 2013

From Giant Bronze to Jewelry: The Calders in Philadelphia

Sculptor Alexander "Sandy" Calder invented the mobile.

One family name spans three generations of Philadelphia’s artistic heritage; each with an artist who has left his own mark on the city. WRTI’s Susan Lewis looks at the impact of three Calders – all, incidentally, named Alexander.

Alexander Milne Calder crafted over 200 figures for City Hall, which is topped by his 23-ton, 37-foot tall statue of William Penn. During a cleaning in 2007, conservator David Cann took us to the very top of Penn’s hat:

CANN: And we can pop the top off so you can see how he’s built in sections...there are 47 sections of casting that are flange bolted together on the inside, so they could put him up here … they couldn’t put it up here in one piece...

From what was for years the tallest point in the city, one can look down at Logan Square’s Swann Fountain, whose figures were sculpted by Calder’s son, Alexander Stirling Calder. Looking up the Benjamin Franklin Parkway is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the home of the large mobile Ghost, created by his grandson, Alexander "Sandy" Calder.  Sandy Calder also created what are, in effect, tiny sculptures...jewelry:

FOSTER: He grew up in this legacy of sculpture...he couldn’t help it, he was making stuff out of everyday objects and scraps. All of them, in a way, are very interested in public art, and Calder grew into that, coming out of his background as an engineer and a kind of  playful sense of art as part of daily life.